Emi Kodama

Beyond the buildings, the clouds are a mountain range

Artist Emi Kodama presents a unique performance at Beyond the Black Box, titled Beyond the buildings, the clouds are a mountain range.

"During Beyond the Black Box, I’d like to invite you to listen to a story from the comfort of a hammock. Suspended in the air, the day left at the door, you will travel to different destinations in your imagination."

 

Please note: a ticket for this performance is only valid in combination with a daypass. You can buy these through the daily programme pages. Click on your preferred day to buy a daypass.

Emi Kodama about the performance

"When I read stories aloud, the listener’s body plays a role in immersing them in the narrative. By guiding people’s physical experience of the performance, I add a layer to the inner world that the story creates in their imagination. Positioning listeners in a certain way and choosing what they see and hear has added new dimension to my storytelling. 

This performance was developed in the context of IN/FINITY, a three-year project that allowed me to share my artistic practice with the people of TOPAZ at UZ Brussel, a palliative day-care center for those with terminal illnesses. During my time there, I had the impression that the people needed a holiday – from Belgium, from TOPAZ, and from themselves. It’s a feeling I identified with, and thought many others would too."

Traveling through your imagination

"I had the impression that guests needed a holiday. A holiday from Belgium because many of them aren’t from here and miss the sun. Maybe from TOPAZ, even though they enjoy it there, because everyone needs a change of scenery sometimes. Maybe from themselves, because they’re stuck in a cycle of thoughts they can’t get out of.

Regardless of whatever physical limitations we may have, we are still bodies in space. As a result, there are many internal and external factors that affect our ability to be in the moment. You could be lying on a beautiful beach, but might be worried about a friend. You may be reading, but are distracted by noisy neighbours. In the same way, listeners travelling in their imagination through the stories I tell have bodies that can play a role in drawing them into the narrative. By guiding people’s physical experience of the performance, I add layers to the story world in their imagination. Positioning listeners in a certain way and choosing what they see and hear has added new dimension to my storytelling."

Beyond the Black Box

 

"This new performance, based on my experiences at TOPAZ, was presented at Performatik in March 2019, a contemporary performance art festival organized by Kaaitheater in Brussels. During Beyond the Black Box, I’d like to invite you to listen to a story from the comfort of a hammock. Hanging in the air, the day left at the door, you will travel to different destinations in your imagination. It is a mental journey paired with the physical sensations of being weightless, floating, suspended. I invite people to spend time in their inner world by discovering new areas of it or returning to places they haven’t been in a while. The imagination is a vast space to be explored, and I think of it as a faculty that can be deepened through use."

About the artist

Through a multidisciplinary practice that includes writing, performance, and installation, Emi Kodama’s work mentally transports people through storytelling. She focuses on layering the every day with memories and daydreams to create stories that people can explore and expand. Her work builds a universe that blends your imagination with hers. She wants to give others the opportunity to spend time in their inner world — for them to be curious, ask questions, and realize the power of their own imagination. 

Originally from Vancouver (CA), Emi has been based in Ghent since 2008 when she started the HISK. She has an MFA from the Frank Mohr Institute in Groningen (NL) and a BFA from the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Enschede (NL).

 

Beyond the buildings, the clouds are a mountain range  premiered during Performatik at Kaaitheater in Brussels. During Beyond the Black Box, the performance will be presented for the first time in the Netherlands.

Credits
PerformanceEmi Kodama
Technical supportElias Heuninck
Supported byIN/FINITY and the Flemish Community
Thanks tothe people at TOPAZ, Hans Demeulenaere, Marnix Rummens, Julie Rodeyns, Wouter Bouchez, Lauren Von Gogh, en Tramaine de Senna